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Volunteers Wanted for Bighorn Sheep Survey

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February 19, 2009 08:21PM
Lytle Creek, Calif., January 30, 2009 - Volunteers are needed on February 28 and March 1, 2009 (Saturday evening and all day Sunday) to assist in the annual survey of bighorn sheep in the San Gabriel Mountains.

The California Department of Fish and Game, US Forest Service, and the Society for Conservation of Bighorn Sheep have conducted annual surveys for bighorn sheep in the San Gabriel range since 1979. The mountain range once held an estimated 740 bighorn sheep, which made the San Gabriel population the largest population of desert bighorn sheep in California. The population declined over 80% through the 1980’s but appears to be on the increase; with recent estimates yielding approximately 300 bighorn sheep.

Volunteers will hike to designated observation sites in the San Gabriel Mountains on Sunday and count and record bighorn sheep observed. Each volunteer group will be led by a representative from the Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep or the Forest Service. Survey participants must be at least 16 years old and capable of hiking one mile on rugged terrain, though most routes will be longer. Most of the hikes are not on trails, and may involve scrambling over boulders, climbing steep slopes, or bush-whacking through chaparral. No survey experience is necessary however; volunteers must attend a mandatory orientation at 6:00 PM on Saturday, February 28, at Day Creek Intermediate School, in Rancho Cucamonga.

Complimentary campsites are available to volunteers on a first-come basis at the Applewhite Campground in Lytle Creek. Participants will need to hit the trail early Sunday. Volunteers should bring binoculars or spotting scopes as well as FRS/GMRS radios in addition to hiking gear. Mountain weather can be unpredictable and volunteers should be prepared to spend several hours hiking and additional time making observations in cold and windy weather.

Please call the Lytle Creek Ranger Station at (909) 382-2870 no later than February 15, to sign up and receive a volunteer packet.

Volunteers Wanted for Bighorn Sheep Survey

Rick 1482February 19, 2009 08:21PM

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